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Art and Art History: Art Index Databases

Which art index should I use?

Although there is overlap between the art indexes, each has its own strengths. 

  • Art and Architecture Complete (AAC) is broad in scope, covering arts across the centuries, from the prehistory to the present, and from around the world. 
  • ArtBibliographies Modern (ABM) covers the arts around the world from the late 19th century forward, and photography since its invention. 
  • Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), covered Western European art from late antiquity to the present, and arts of the Americans after European arrival.   With the economic downturn, BHA ceased publication in 2009.

Therefore, if your topic is about contemporary art, turn to AAC, ABM, and BHA (if Western European or from the Americas), but if your topic is about contemporary Japanese art, you don't need to consult BHA.  If your topic is prehistoric or pre-Columbian, use AAC; if eighteenth century, use AAC and BHA, but not ABM.

Art Indexes

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Elia Trucks
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